Tuesday, January 23, 2007

no period no problem, right?

If you are a male reader of this blog, proceed at your own risk...

Having fewer periods seems to be all the rage right now. I know you all have seen the ads for all the birth control pills that reduce the number of periods you have (Loestrin FE, Seasonale, and soon you'll find out everything you need to know about Lybrel). But the truth is that any hormonal birth control (HBC) can be used to reduce the number of periods you have. Basically, just take/use your current form of HBC continuously. This method is called menstrual suppression. Female physicians have been practicing this for years (seriously, ask your gynecologist).

I don't have a problem with my current HBC, but when I saw my doctor for my annual female check up last year, I was curious to know what my life would be like with fewer periods. I really couldn't think of any thing wrong with not having a period (current research shows that continuous use of HBC has no bad long term health effects). And my doctor was encouraging. So, I said, what the hell? Let's do it!

Because I didn't want my body to go through the changes of trying another HBC (I get moody and emotional and it's not pretty), I asked my doctor to let me stay on my current HBC and I could just take that continuously until I give my body a 'break' from the hormones (i.e. allow Aunt Flo to visit). At the time, it felt like a weight had been lifted. Yay! No more monthly cramps and bloating. No more once-a-month emotional breakdowns. I was free!

Well, I've been suppressing for quite a few months now and I've noticed something about my rare Aunt Flo visits. They hurt like hell. The only comfortable position for my body during that time is the fetal position. The cramps are like nothing I've ever experienced in my many years of 'womanhood'. They are debilitatingly painful.

But they're short. Just two days of pain...and hell.

Maybe...just maybe...two days of hell every few months is better than a monthly inconvenience.

If you too are curious about menstrual suppresion, I encourage you to check this out to learn more. Also, if you want to know the difference between a Pill Period and a regular period, check this out.


Needtsza said...

Do what you need to do, but realize that you're back up the 'Flo' for a few months and then it comes flying out at once, no?

I mean isn't it like not taking a shit for a month, then all of the sudden being able to go? You could destroy a Room with that kinda back-up.

the flow is natural, stopping it is not. Though, I'm all for women having less "moods" ;) sux it comes with extra pain =(

lizzie said...

needtsza--i encourage you to check out that second link about the diff. between a pill period and a regular period. once you're on HBC, you don't have 'natural' periods, even if you take the good old-fashioned Pill.

there's no back up, thank god (but your shit reference definitely had me laughing). actually (TMI WARNING) for me the flow is light. unfortunately, the pain is not.

DCWeddingPhotog said...

I've been taking Seasonale since it hit the pharmacy 3 years ago. It's amazing.

Since I travel all the time, it's so great to know that there won't be a "visit" while I'm living in a mud hut in Africa, or trapsing through the jungles of Burma. It's been fantastic for me.

When Aunt Flo does comes to town, it does suck, but not anymore than it used to, I just think I've forgotten how awful it was. (and guys, it IS awful)

My gyno encouraged me awhile ago, because I am highly anenic- and it's done the trick. She said women in combat, female astronauts, etc have been doing this for 15+ years.


Lesser Being of Leisure said...

This is really interesting. I was thinking about trying Seasonale, partly because of the moodiness that I get (which somehow seems to have gotten worse as I've gotten older). I think I'll still do it, but I appreciate the information.